Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade clinched its return to the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague by winning the ABA League title on Monday night. Zvezda routed Buducnost VOLI Podgorica 97-54 in the fifth-and-deciding game of the ABA League finals and will return to Europe's premier competition after a one-year absence. It had played the five previous season in the EuroLeague and reached the playoffs in 2016. The ABA crown is the fourth in Zvezda's illustrious history.
K.C. Rivers led the charge for Zvezda against Buducnost with 21 points on 5-of-8 three-point shooting. Dejan Davidovac added 11 points, Borisa Simanic, Mouhammad Faye and Michael Ojo added 10 points apiece and Filip Covic tallied 9 points and 9 assists. Zvezda scored the first 4 points of the game and surged to a 15-5 lead before settling for an 18-13 advantage after 10 minutes. Simanic shined with 7 points in a 16-2 second-quarter charge and Zvezda cruised into halftime in total control, 47-21. The lead peaked at 45 on a Davidovac three-pointer in the final minute to trigger the celebrations. Norris Cole led Buducnost with 9 points.